Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) estimates that greater than 60 million patients will have their genome sequenced in some healthcare related scenario by 2025.
Million Veteran Program is one such example where a research database will be assembled to anonymously study conditions such as diabetes and cancer, as well as military-related illnesses, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As of July 2019, more than 770,000 veterans have contributed blood samples and health data. Just think about the ways this precision medicine initiative changes how we could approach clinical care! How did this revolutionary change in medicine get started?
Evolution from peas to Precision Medicine
I don’t believe that Johann Gregor Mendel would have any idea that his work with pea plants could have evolved into a vast area of medicine that had the potential to make such a revolutionary impact on healthcare. It all started in 1854, when Mendel began his work to look at the conveyance of hereditary traits. “Why peas?”, you may ask. Peas have numerous distinct varieties, and generations that could be quickly and easily produced. Of course as with any new theory, Mendel’s work met with skepticism and controversy and it was not until many years after his death that he was crowned with the title “ the father of modern genetics.”